Tijuana Xolos Liga MX CL 18 Week 15 Preview: Chivas Visit Estadio Caliente For Crucial Match

Credit: Xolos

Credit: Xolos

Game: Tijuana Xolos vs Chivas de Guadalajara

When: Friday, April 13, 2018

Where: Estadio Caliente, Tijuana, Mexico

Time: 7:00 P.M. PST

TV: Univision Deportes

The Tijuana Xolos will play their 15th match in the Liga MX Clausura 2018 this Friday when Club Tijuana hosts Chivas de Guadalajara at the Estadio Caliente.

The match should be one of the more exciting encounters in the Liga MX this weekend and the atmosphere at the Mictlan should be the best that will be seen all season. The Aztec Canines are currently in seventh place with 18 points, still clinging to a playoff spot, but could easily lose that spot after this weekend. This is a must-win game for the Xoloitzcuintles as only three points currently separate Club Tijuana in seventh place and Leon in 16th place. The Liga MX is as competitive as ever and the Border City Dogs must make full use of the home-field advantage and win this game. The Prehistoric Dogs have not won in four consecutive games and are coming off a disappointing 2-2 result against Atlas at the Estadio Caliente.

The Xolos had a comfortable 2-0 lead after the first half of that match, but ended up losing their lead as the team collapsed in the second half. That result was demoralizing for the team and the fans as the Xolos’ players were booed off the pitch after that clash. In a press conference prior to this game, striker Juan Martin Lucero did emphasize that the team is calm heading into this match. Lucero also mentioned that the team will try and play offensively and aggressive. Manager Diego Cocca also had a press conference during the week and he said, “We will play this game like a final”. The Argentine boss clearly knows the importance of this match and it is a game that the Xolos should be able to win in front of the home crowd.

Chivas de Guadalajara accomplished something that the Xolos could not do and knocked out the New York Red Bulls out of the CONCACAF Champions League competition. Los Rojiblancos are now in the final of the tournament and will take on Toronto FC for the title.

There definitely has to be fatigue within this Chivas’ team as they just did play the Red Bulls in New Jersey on Tuesday. In the Liga MX, Guadalajara is currently in 15th place with 15 points and still has a chance of making the playoffs. Los Tapatios are coming off a disappointing 1-0 loss to Veracruz at home and will now try to bounce back in this game. Chivas has had a disappointing tournament for its extremely high standards and has to win this game for any chance at qualifying for the playoffs. Manager Matias Almeyda implements a very enticing style of play as he thrives on having possession and likes to press his opposition. This should be seen at the Estadio Caliente this Friday night and make for a very interesting and potentially high-scoring game.

Players to Watch

Rodolfo Pizarro

The most exciting, and arguably most talented, player on Chivas de Guadalajara has to be attacking midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro. The 24-year-old currently has two goals and two assists this season and is really pushing for a spot on Mexico’s 2018 World Cup roster. Pizarro can make something out of nothing and really generates scoring opportunities. Pizarro can also track back and play in different positions across the field as he is a very hard working player as well. The Mexico international will really be a player that the Xolos’ defense will need to mark tightly on Friday night.

Gibran Lajud

The Xolos’ defense is still tied for the best in the league with only 11 goals conceded this season, and that is in large part due to the efforts put in by goalkeeper Gibran Lajud. The Mexican goalkeeper is living the best moments of his career and can really prove to be a factor in certain games for Club Tijuana. Chivas will be very aggressive and will get a lot of scoring opportunities in this game, so Lajud will need to be in top form.

Prediction

This encounter has the potential to be one of the best games this weekend in the Liga MX and potentially one of the more exciting Xolos’ games in this tournament as well. EVT predicts a highly entertaining 3-2 win for Club Tijuana in what should be a very intense clash.

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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